The Tata Nano is a small, affordable, rear-engine, four-passenger car aimed primarily at the Indian market. It was first presented by India's Tata Motors at the 9th annual Auto Expo on January 10, 2008, at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, India. The car was envisioned by, Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group and Tata Motors, who has described it as an eco-friendly "people's car".
The prefix "nano" derives from the Greek root 'nanos', meaning dwarf. "Nano" also means "small" in Gujarati, the native language of the Tata family, founders of the Tata Group. The introduction of the Nano received media attention due to its targeted low price. Tata targets the vehicle as the least expensive production car in the world - aiming for a starting price of 100,000 rupees or approximately $2000 US. Due to which, it is already in the Guinness book as the world's cheapest car.
Conception and design
To achieve its design parameters, Tata has refined the manufacturing process, emphasized innovation and sought new design approaches from suppliers. The car was designed at Italy's Institute of Development in Automotive Engineering - with Ratan Tata requesting certain changes, such the elimination of one of two windscreen wipers.
The Nano has 21% more interior space and an 8% smaller exterior, when compared with its closest rival, the Maruti 800. The car will come in different versions, including one standard and two deluxe variants. The deluxe version will have air conditioning, but no power steering. The initial production target set by Tata Motors is 250,000 units per year.
The Nano will be available in both standard and deluxe versions. Both versions will offer a wide range of body colours, and other accessories so that the car can be customised to an individual's preferences.
- Designed with a family in mind, the Nano has a roomy passenger compartment with generous leg space and head room. - Can comfortably seat four persons. Four doors with high seating position make ingress and egress easy. - With a length of 3.1 metres, width of 1.5 metres and height of 1.6 metres, with adequate ground clearance, it can effortlessly manoeuvre on busy roads in cities as well as in rural areas. - Its mono-volume design, with wheels at the corners and the powertrain at the rear, enables it to uniquely combine both space and manoeuvrability, which will set a new benchmark among small cars.
- The Nano has a rear-wheel drive, all-aluminium, two-cylinder, 623 cc, 33 PS, multi point fuel injection petrol engine. This is the first time that a two-cylinder gasoline engine is being used in a car with single balancer shaft. - The lean design strategy has helped minimise weight, which helps maximise performance per unit of energy consumed and delivers high fuel efficiency. - Performance is controlled by a specially designed electronic engine management system.
Meets all safety requirements
- The Nano's safety performance exceeds current regulatory requirements. With an all sheet-metal body, it has a strong passenger compartment, with safety features such as crumple zones, intrusion-resistant doors, seat belts, strong seats and anchorages, and the rear tailgate glass bonded to the body. - Tubeless tyres further enhance safety.
- The Nano's tailpipe emission performance exceeds regulatory requirements. In terms of overall pollutants, it has a lower pollution level than two-wheelers being manufactured in India today. - The high fuel efficiency also ensures that the car has low carbon dioxide emissions, thereby providing the twin benefits of an affordable transportation solution with a low carbon footprint.
Tata initially targeted the vehicle as "the least expensive production car in the world" — aiming for a starting price of 100,000 rupees or approximately $2050 US despite rapidly rising material prices. As of August 2008, material...
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